Global BMW sales declined 12.2% during the third quarter to 539,189, but remain positive year-to-date with 1,932,236 deliveries translating to an increase of 17.9%. The BMW brand itself saw sales shrink 10.3% year-over-year to 524,870 during the third quarter, but it’s important to remember that approximately one year ago, the global economy was recovering at a brisk pace from the pandemic-induced turmoil earlier in 2020. As of the end of the third quarter, the BMW Group sales total of 1,932,236 is nearly 300,000 units greater than it was during the same time last year.
“The sales success of the past nine months shows how our customers appreciate our strong, sustainable, and emotionally engaging product line-up. We have so far been able to offset the semiconductor supply bottlenecks over the full year with a strong operating performance. We are confident we can meet our ambitious sales targets and achieve solid, profitable growth for 2021,” explained Pieter Nota, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for customer, brands and sales. “We have more than doubled our sales of fully-electric vehicles since the start of the year—and are therefore underscoring our impressive electro-offensive,” Nota added.
BMW Group Brand Sales
The Mini brand posted a decline of 25% thanks to 66,990 units sold during the third quarter, but is positive by 7.9% for 2021 thanks to 224,838 deliveries. The electric Mini SE seems to be particularly popular, thanks to sales increasing 106.6% since the beginning of the year, with unit sales of 20,104 . For 2021, 15.2% of the Mini models sold through the end of September were equipped with an electric drivetrain.
Third-quarter Rolls-Royce sales grew 21.8% to 1,329, and, thanks to demand for all of the brand’s models remaining strong in all sales regions, are up 62.9% year-to-date, thanks to 4,318 deliveries, which is more than were sold during the entirety of 2020. The first electric Rolls-Royce will be called the Spectre, and is due in 2024, while the entire brand will be exclusively electric by 2030.
BMW Motorrad sales dipped 7.4% year-over-year to 48,999 units, but are positive by 20.8% year-to-date with 156,609 deliveries, and the brand is on track for its best year ever.
BMW Group Electrified, a term which encompasses all of the automaker’s electric and hybrid models, including those from Mini and BMW Motorrad, saw the largest year-to-date percentage gain, with growth of 43.1% stemming from unit sales of 78,333. BMW Group Electrified is also up an impressive 98.9% for 2021, thanks to 231,576 deliveries. Of the 78,333 BMW Group Electrified vehicles sold during the third quarter, the vast majority, or 59,688 of them, were purely electric, which contributed to a year-to-date increase of 121.4%. The BMW iX3, which isn’t available in the U.S., is said to be among the primary growth drivers, while things are expected to take off when the i4 and iX are introduced in the next several months.
Sales of BMW M and M Performance models have increased 22.2% during 2021, thanks to 123,008 units deliveries through the end of September. The continued success is attributed to the new M3 and M4, along with the X5 M and X6 M. In the more attainable M Performance subcategory, the most popular models were with the M440i coupe and convertible, along with the M340i and its derivatives, all of which share the same 380-horsepower B58 turbocharged six-cylinder drivetrain.
Semiconductor Chip Supply Troubles
In July of this year, it was reported that shortages in relation to semiconductor chips prevented the completion of at least 10,000 BMW vehicles. According to the third-quarter BMW Group sales report, the shortfalls continue to cause problems, even though the automaker has made difficult decisions and individual adjustments to its production schedule to cope. The shortage of microchips is expected to continue for the foreseeable future according to BMW, and although the manufacturer has been able to absorb much of the impact, it is said that a drop in sales due to the ongoing problem cannot be ruled out.
Regional BMW Group Sales
Cutting the world into different regions, the BMW Group saw mixed results. In the Americas, third-quarter sales expanded by 6% to 104,999, and are positive for 2021 by 31.1%, thanks to 329,224 deliveries. In the U.S., the largest national market within the region, third-quarter deliveries grew 4.4% to 82,064, and are up 33.1% year-to-date, owing to unit sales of 265,683.
European BMW Group sales slid 19.9% to 220,639 year-over-year during the third quarter, but grew 11.8% year-to-date with 724,933 deliveries. In Germany, one of BMW’s most crucial national markets, unit sales dropped 26.8% for the quarter to 62,830, and are largely flat for 2021 with growth of 1.4% originating from unit sales of 204,842.
BMW Group sales in Asia declined 11.9% to 254,059 deliveries during the third quarter, but have grown 18.2% for the year with 832,918 deliveries. China, BMW’s largest national market, posted a third-quarter decline of 12.2% to 202,573 vehicles sold, but the country remains positive by 19.6% year-to-date, thanks to 669,637 deliveries.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]